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The sheriff of Nottingham plots to confiscate the estate of the Lord of Bortrey, who has died on Crusade. The Archbishop of Canterbury speaks against this plot, and the sheriff plans to eliminate him. Robin Hood pretends to undertake the assassination of the Archbishop for the plotters; Maid Marion, meeting him thinks him the leader of a gang of murderers, and leads him into a trap. Written by
Bruce Cameron <email@example.com>
In one scene, Robin is asked to shoot at a pumpkin. Pumpkins are a New World squash; the earliest references to Robin Hood are from about 1228, well before Columbus' voyage. See more »
The movie begins and ends with a short song so as to be consistent with the TV series. The song at the end of the movie goes something like this: "And so Robin and his lady/returned to Sherwood Forest,/There to stay evermore." See more »
Hammer studios are, obviously, most famous for their horror films; but the best of those tend to be the ones that are based on a classic story, so, technically, this take on the Robin Hood legend isn't a far cry away from what Hammer do best. Technicalities aside, however, this definitely isn't one of the great studio's finer hours. The film is flawed to oblivion, and it doesn't capture that Hammer essence that the studio's better films did so well. I go into Hammer films expecting a good time, but this one actually managed to be boring. There's still some camp on offer, but the story plays out in a way that is neither interesting nor fun. As usual with Hammer, elements of the story have been changed; but unlike usual, they've been changed for the worse and the script fails to deliver a story that even comes close to matching the original. This is one of the rare times when Hammer would have been better off simply filming the story that had been doing the rounds for years before this film was ever put out.
The dull and muddled plot follows Robin Hood and his merry men who, after finding a man nearly dead, take him in. It soon becomes apparent that the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham wants this outlaw, and gives Robin Hood a dubious offer of a full pardon. Robin is having none of it, and ends up joining in a plot to assassinate someone or other. The plot isn't overly complicated, but it's not very well handled and because the film is rather boring, it makes it very hard to follow what's going on. The best thing about this film is the fact that Hammer's finest asset, Peter Cushing is in it. Under the direction of Hammer's most punctual director, Terence Fisher, Cushing once again turns in an excellent performance and shows that he can make good of even the lamest material. Oliver Reed also has a small role, but the fact that the lead went to Richard Greene brings it down. For a start, he's too old to play Robin Hood; and secondly, he just doesn't have the charisma to carry the film off. When you're cheering for the baddie because a better actor is playing him, you know you're in the wrong movie. All in all - Hammer completists only!
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